Heart of thorns by Bree Barton

Heart of thorns is centered around a studious and headstrong teenager by the name of
Mia Rose. The story follows her journey through the River Kingdom as she tracks down the
Gwyrach who murdered her mother. Gwyrach are women who are feared for their dangerous and
manipulative magical abilities. Despite Mia’s hatred for them, she is forced to reexamine her
opinion of them when she discovers that she is a Gwyrach. Throughout the book, she uncovers
hidden truths regarding her family and herself. This book is rich in a variety of emotions,
including love, anger, hate, and fear. Mia attempts to suppress these emotions in order to control
her magic, and she struggles to recognize her identity.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book because of the creative world that Barton creates
along with the unique storyline that takes place in it. Barton’s use of imagery was refreshing, and
I appreciated the small details describing the environment and people. I also admired the level of
mystery that the book held and the shocking turn of events that occurs towards the end. I will
admit that it was exhausting to read Mia’s constant struggle between logic and emotion. This
theme was extremely repetitive and made the book a little less enjoyable for me, however this is
just a small hiccup in a beautifully crafted story.

Five trivia questions: (include question, answer and page number)
1. How did Mia and Quin escape Kaer Killian? They escaped on the Bridalaghdú. (pg 87)
2. Why was Quin unable to read from Wynna’s journal? The ink used was Sangflur which
is only visible to the Dujia. (pg 297)
3. How did Mia and Quin find the hot spring? They followed the smell of sulfyr. (pg 167)
4. Whose bodies did Mia find on the dungeon floor? She found King Ronan and Queen
Rowena. (pg 396)
5. How did Mia and Quin reach Refúj? They traveled on a red hot air balloon. (pg 217)

Three Discussion Questions (feel free to write in your own personal notes)
1. How do you think Mia’s relationship with her sister will change now that the truth about how
Angelyne feels is exposed? (Think about Mia’s unconditional love for her as well as Angelyne’s
betrayal)
2. How does patriarchy and feminism play a role in developing the story? (Think of the
oppressed woman forced to wear gloves in Killian village vs. the free women of Refúj)
3. Do you think Quin will forgive Mia for killing his sister? (Recall that Zaga fed Mia lies when
she was attempting to save Kurri’s life)

Book review provided by teen volunteer Julia.

Posted by LisaF on October 1, 2020